|Publication number||US7845653 B2|
|Application number||US 11/441,051|
|Publication date||Dec 7, 2010|
|Filing date||May 26, 2006|
|Priority date||May 26, 2006|
|Also published as||DE602007000932D1, EP1859908A1, EP1859908B1, EP2062701A1, US7938412, US20070273114, US20100314856|
|Publication number||11441051, 441051, US 7845653 B2, US 7845653B2, US-B2-7845653, US7845653 B2, US7845653B2|
|Original Assignee||Zag Industries Ltd.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (51), Non-Patent Citations (2), Referenced by (9), Classifications (29), Legal Events (2)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
The present invention relates to container assemblies and, more particularly, to rolling container assemblies expandable from a compact configuration to an expanded configuration.
Numerous container assemblies are known in the art. However, there is a constant need in the industry to improve upon existing container assemblies by making them more efficient, space reducing, mobile, and/or multi-functional.
A container assembly is provided that includes a base container that has an upper opening and an upper container mounted in covering relation over the upper opening of the base container. A linkage connects the upper container to the base container in a manner that allows the upper container to be displaced from the covering relation over the upper opening of the base container, so as to permit access into the base container through the upper opening. A support assembly is spaced from the base container when the upper container is displaced from the covering relation over the upper opening of the base container and wheels are disposed toward a lower portion of the container assembly. A handle is provided for rollingly transporting the container assembly on the wheels in a tilted configuration.
The above-mentioned and other features and advantages of the present invention, and the manner of attaining them, will become more apparent and the disclosure itself will be better understood by reference to the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:
The present invention will be described with reference to the accompanying drawings. Corresponding reference characters indicate corresponding parts throughout the several views. The description as set out herein illustrates an arrangement of the invention and is not to be construed as limiting the scope of the disclosure in any manner.
A rolling container assembly 10 in accordance with the present invention is shown in
Wheels 60 are mounted in proximity to a lower region of the base container 20 so that the assembly 10 may be tilted and pushed along the ground by a user holding a handle 70. Alternatively, more than two wheels 60 may be mounted to a base region of the assembly 10 such that the assembly 10 need not be tilted to be moved. The assembly 10 may be capable of being moved in either the compact configuration or the expanded configuration. In one embodiment, the wheels 60 are mounted to the lower part of the support legs 72, 74 such that the container assembly 10 may be moved by tilting it back by pulling on the handle 70 and rolling the assembly on the wheels 60.
In another embodiment of a rolling container assembly 100, shown in
The base container 20 includes an upper opening 28 through which access to the inside of the base container 20 is provided, as shown in
The upper container 30 may be located above the base container 20 such that it covers the opening 28 when the assembly 10 is in the compact configuration and permits access to the opening 28 when the assembly 10 is in the expanded configuration. The upper container 30 may include a pivot 32 on each of its sides that secures the linkage 50 to the assembly 10 and permits the linkage 50 to rotate about the pivot 32. The upper container 30 houses a space within to accommodate any of a variety of items including, but not limited to, tools, hardware, parts, etc. The upper container 30 may also be provided with a cover 31 that can be pivotable about hinge 33 to enclose the contents of the upper container 30. The upper container 30 further includes a pair of lower rails 38 at an upper region of a front face that interact with a locking plate 35 to prevent expansion of the assembly 10, as discussed below.
The top container 40 is located above the upper container 30. The top container 40 includes an upper linkage stud 46 on each of its sides for engagement with linkages 50 to enable expansion of the assembly 10, as discussed below. Similarly to the base container 20 and the upper container 30, the top container 40 houses an internal space 49 suitable for accommodating any of a variety of items including, but not limited to, tools, hardware, parts, etc. The locking plate 35 is located at a lower region of a front face of the top container 40 and is slidingly received by upper rails 39 for, in conjunction with lower rails 38, preventing or enabling relative displacement between each of the containers 20, 30, 40, as discussed below.
It should be appreciated that the top container 40 may also be considered as the “upper container” that covers the upper opening of the base container 20. Thus, the present invention contemplates that there may be intervening structure between the “upper container” and the “base container” as contemplated herein (e.g., also see discussion above regarding the removable tray covering the base container upper opening 28).
The top container 40 may include a pivotable top cover 44 to permit access to its interior space 49. The top cover 44 may be secured in a closed position as shown in
When the top cover 44 is in the open position, it may be configured to receive a tray 45, which may have a handle 47, as shown in
In one embodiment, the top container 40 may be configured to be removable from the rolling container assembly 10. As shown in
The rolling container assembly 10 of the present invention includes a support assembly that supports, controls, and guides the assembly 10 during expansion and compaction and in each of its final and transient positions. The assembly 10 further includes a handle 70, which includes right and left extension legs 82, that enables a user to maneuver the assembly 10.
In one, non-limiting example, the support assembly generally includes right support leg 72, left support leg 74, bracket 71, extension links 75, 77, and guide channel 34. It should be appreciated that numerous arrangements for a support assembly to support the containers when in an expanded cantilevered configuration can be provided. The bracket 71 is secured to the top container 40 (or, in the alternative embodiment discussed above, the base frame 48) and the support legs 72, 74 extend from the bracket 71 to a wheel axle 62. Extension links 75, 77 are provided to control and guide the movement of the containers 20, 30, 40 during expansion and in each of the positions. The extension link 75 extends from the wheel axle 62 to the guide channel 34, as shown in
When the container assembly 10 is in the compact configuration, as shown in
When the container assembly 10 is in its expanded configuration (i.e., the upper container 30 is displaced from covering relation to the base container 20) the support assembly is spaced from the base container 20 to better support the cantilevered arrangement of the upper container 30. This is not to say, however, that the support assembly is not spaced from the base container 20 when the container assembly 10 is in the compact configuration. Indeed, in some embodiments, some spacing may be desirable in the compact condition for a larger support footprint.
The handle 70 is movable between a range of positions having an upper limit, as shown in
When the rolling container assembly 10 is in the compact configuration of
It is appreciated that the upper limit of extension for the handle 70 shown in
The rolling container assembly 10 includes linkages 50 on each side of the assembly 10 in order to maintain relative positions between the containers 20, 30, 40 and to limit movement of the containers 20, 30, 40. The linkages 50 are attached to the upper container 30 at pivot 32 such that the linkage 50 rotates about the pivot 32. With respect to the linkage 50 as shown in
The linkage includes lower slot 52 and upper slot 54 that receive the lower linkage stud 22 and the upper linkage stud 46, respectively. In the compact configuration of the container assembly 10 shown in
The rails 38, located in an upper region of the upper container 30 as shown in
The locked position of the locking plate 35 is shown in
When it is desired to move the assembly 10 to the expanded configuration, a user may move the locking plate 35 upwards by pulling upward on the surface 37 of the locking plate 35 until it has cleared the rails 38 on the upper container 30. The locking plate 35 may have structure that engages with corresponding structure on the rails 39 on the top container 40 to prevent the locking plate 35 from becoming dislodged from the rails 39 or from sliding upward more than necessary, as one of skill in the art will appreciate.
Once the locking plate 35 has cleared the rails 38, the assembly 10 is free to be transitioned to the expanded configuration. A user may then pull the base container 20 outward from the support legs 72,74, which in turn displaces the upper container, so that the upper opening 28 of the base container is fully accessible and the cover 31 of the upper container 30 may be pivoted so as to allow access to an internal space of the upper container 30.
To return the assembly 10 to the compact configuration, a user may simply push the base container 20 inward toward the support legs 72, 74 and then push the locking plate 35 downward to lock the upper container 30 and the top container 40 together. The locking plate 35 may have a top surface 37 a to provide an adequate surface area for engagement by the user. The locking plate 35 may further have structure that engages with corresponding structure on the upper rails 39 or lower rails 38 in order to prevent the locking plate 35 from being pushed too far, as will be appreciated by one having skill in the art.
While specific embodiments have been described above, it will be appreciated that the invention may be practiced otherwise than as described. The descriptions above are intended to be illustrative and not limiting. Thus it will be apparent to one skilled in the art that modifications may be made to the invention as described without departing from the scope of the claims set out below.
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|U.S. Classification||280/47.34, 280/38, 280/638, 206/741, 206/507, 220/522, 220/4.27, 280/47.131, 220/524, 220/254.2, 280/654, 312/298, 220/254.3, 220/255, 220/4.22, 280/639, 206/742, 312/325, 220/259.2, 206/748|
|International Classification||B62B1/00, B65D43/18, B62B3/00, B65D21/00|
|Cooperative Classification||B62B1/12, B25H3/023, B62B1/008|
|European Classification||B62B1/12, B25H3/02B2|
|May 26, 2006||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: ZAG INDUSTRIES LTD., ISRAEL
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:KATZ, AMIR;REEL/FRAME:017930/0947
Effective date: 20060523
|Jun 9, 2014||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4